In an interesting move, Ford Australia has announced that its all-new Ford Escape SUV will be offered as a plug-in hybrid when it arrives Downunder in 2020. It will be the first Ford PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric) model offered in this country and indicates Ford is serious about meeting future owners’ needs.
Escape hybrid will be powered by 2.5-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, electric motor and generator, and 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery to produce up to 165kW of power. Ford says it will have a fully-electric driving range in excess of 50 kilometres.
It seems likely that it will also be sold here with conventional engines, however Ford Australia is keeping details secret at this early stage.
All-new Ford Escape is slightly larger than the model it will replace and carries many of the same styling themes, particularly in the grille and tail. The side view carries a sporty look with an upswept D-pillar and a neat tail spoiler.
New Escape is 44 mm wider and 89 mm longer than the outgoing model, while the wheelbase has increased by 20 mm.
Inside, it has 43 mm additional shoulder room and 57 mm more hip room in the front seats.Rear passengers will share 20 mm more shoulder room and 36 mm more hip room. Though it’s 20 mm lower overall the all-new Escape provides 13 mm more headroom over the front seats. Impressively there’s 35 mm additional headroom in the rear seats.
Versatility is excellent as the entire second row of seats can be moved forwards or backwards to juggle between legroom and boot space.
Yet the new platform, tagged as C2, means Focus will be up to 90 kg lighter. The platform provides increased rigidity as well as NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) improvements.
“We’re proud to bring the first of our global electrified vehicles to Australian customers in the stylish and capable all-new Escape,” said Ford Australia and New Zealand president and CEO, Kay Hart.
“Australians continue to embrace SUVs, which is why we are introducing our first plug-in hybrid powertrain with this vehicle.”
More detailed specifications and Australian-market details including pricing will be announced closer to the all-new Ford Escape’s launch in 2020.